Fact Two: Your Agency Must Be Unable To Accommodate You In Your Current Position And Consider You For Other Vacant Positions
Your agency is required to fill out several forms as part of your FDR application. A critical document is the Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts. The requirement is twofold. First, your agency must indicate that they are unable to accommodate you in your current position, including noting what, if any, accommodation efforts have been made. Second, your agency must indicate that it has considered you for any vacant position that you are eligible for in the same agency at the same grade or pay level within the same commuting area. If you refuse to engage in the reasonable accommodation process or refuse a qualified position that you are medically able to do, your FDR application will be in jeopardy.
Fers Disability Retirement: A Disconnect Between The Legal And The Medical
The author says that the long standing lack of a quorum at the MSPB highlights inefficiencies in the FERS Disability Retirement application process.
As of March 1, the Senate has finally confirmed two members for the MSPB Review Board, thereby allowing for a quorum to finally exist.
As others have already noted, the two members must now begin the daunting task of deciding upon a 5+ year backlog of almost 4,000 cases. The non-existence of a 3-Judge Panel at the MSPB has been an untenable circumstance impacting thousands of Federal and Postal employees for far too long. Whether a Petition for Review filed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or by the Appellant, any such Appeal-by-Petition for Review simply sat in limbo for years and years. Now, with a quorum in place, waiting for the ultimate outcome may be over sooner than later.
How Do You Qualify For Federal Disability Retirement In 2022
We have updated this article to include the most up-to-date information on applying for FERS/OPM Federal Disability Retirement in 2022.
If you are a federal employee who has a medical condition that prevents you from performing useful and efficient service in your position, you may be able to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement. In this article we will outline the qualification standards for federal employees and help you understand if this benefit is right for you.
To qualify for Federal Disability Retirement, you must submit an application to the Office of Personnel Management supporting your inability to perform the major functions of your position due to a disability or injury. This application is reviewed by the OPM, who issues the decision and administers the benefit to those that qualify.
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Requesting Accommodation For Federal Disability Retirement
If you are a FERS federal employee who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement, its important that you understand the reasonable accommodation process. This process is in place to help employees with disabilities continue to work and perform the essential functions of their job. In order to be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement, you must prove that your agency is unable to reasonably accommodate you and help you fulfill those essential duties. This process becomes significantly harder once you are separated from your agency.
This article will outline what the reasonable accommodation process is and what steps to take to ensure a strong Federal Disability Retirement application.
How To Apply For Fers Disability Retirement Benefits:
To apply for disability retirement benefits, you must fill out two forms.
- Form SF 3107, Application for Immediate RetirementAND
- Form SF 3112, Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement
Additionally, suppose you are under the age of 62. In that case, you will also be required to submit documentation that certifies you have submitted an application for disability benefits through Social Security once youve left your job.
These forms can seem overwhelming to fill out for some, but dont worry. If it has been less than 31 days since youve left your employer, you may be able to receive help from them in filling out your information and sending it in.
However, if it has been greater than 31 days, this may not be an option, as your employer may no longer have your personnel records. If this is the case, dont fret. You can always contact one of our retirement planners to help you fill out these forms and get you prepared for disability retirement.
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What Disabilities Qualify For Federal Disability Retirement Benefits
To qualify for federal disability retirement benefits, an employee must experience either a physical or mental disease or injury. The employees disability must prevent useful and efficient service in the employees current job with the federal government.
Essentially, the federal employee must be unable to perform one or more essential job functions of their current position.
If the employing federal agency can accommodate the workers medical condition, the employee may continue to work in his or her current position. In that case, the employee will not be eligible for federal disability retirement.
Alternatively, if the employing agency can transfer the disabled employee to a different job, known as the accommodation of last resort, the employee will not be entitled to disability retirement benefits.
The new job should be at the same grade or pay level and in the same commuting area. In short, the employee may apply for federal disability retirement only if the employing agency is unable to accommodate the employees disability.
Appealing A Fers Denials
If you are denied FERS benefits, you have 30 days to ask for a reconsideration, during which time you should add new or updated material to your record that could be helpful to your case.
If you are denied again, after asking for a reconsideration, the next appellate level is to a quasi-judicial agency known as the Merit Systems Protection Board , where an Administrative Law Judge or panel of judges will decide your case.
Only after you’ve exhausted all your administrative remedies can your case proceed to federal court. Throughout the process, pay close attention to filing deadlines and other instructions for submitting your appeal. A single missed deadline can torpedo an otherwise meritorious claim.
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Consult An Experienced Federal Employee Disability Retirement Lawyer To Get It Right
Applying for federal disability retirement benefits is a complex process. Forgetting one form or missing the application-filing deadline can result in delayed or denied benefits.
Contact the federal disability retirement lawyers at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing online or call to speak with an experienced federal employee disability retirement attorney today.
We can submit all the necessary paperwork on behalf of our federal employee clients to take the headache out of applying for federal disability retirement.
Establish Evidence Of Your Disability
Second, the federal employee or postal worker must be medically disabled. For the purposes of federal disability retirement, a federal employee is disabled if a medical condition has caused a “service deficiency in performance, conduct, or attendance” or an inability to perform “useful and efficient service.” What does that mean? In a nutshell, you have to be unable to perform the essential functions of your current FERS or CSRS position because of the disability. You don’t have to prove that you can’t work any type of job.
- objective clinical findings, diagnoses, and medical opinions
- subjective evidence of pain and disability, and
- any other evidence relating to the effect of the applicant’s condition on her ability to perform in the grade or class of position last occupied.
Your subjective evidence of disability and pain will be given evidentiary weight only when it is supported by competent medical evidence. For that reason, I recommend you have a lawyer’s help in working with your doctor to create a well-prepared medical analysis of your condition and its effect on your ability to perform the job duties of your position.
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What Should Be Included In Your Application
In your application for Federal Disability Retirement, there are two main forms that you must include, the SF 3107 and the SF 3112.
The SF 3107 is the Application for Immediate Retirement. This form must be filled out by you and your employing agency. This form includes a summary of your federal service including any military time, your insurance and survivor elections, and any additional benefits you might be receiving. Keep in mind these elections will continue into regular retirement after age 62.
The SF 3112 serves as the necessary documentation in support of Federal Disability Retirement. Sections A-E need to be filled out in their entirety in order to be approved for Federal Disability Retirement. These forms include:
- 3112 A- Applicants Statement of Disability
- 3112 B- Supervisors Statement
- 3112 C- Physicians Statement
- 3112 D- Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts
- 3112 E- Disability Retirement Application Checklist
Your federal agency will help you complete these forms, and they will submit these to the OPM. If you are separated, you will submit these directly to the OPM. Learn more about the 3112.
Seek Legal Advice From A Federal Employee Attorney
Have you been injured or disabled as a federal employee? Aumiller Lomax can educate you about your rights and answer any questions you have. Reach out to us to speak with a federal employee attorney who can help you understand how to access the benefits you deserve, whether through federal disability, federal workers compensation, or another program. Call us at 856-751-0440 or contact us online to request your free consultation today.
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Is It Hard To Get Disability Retirement
OPM will consider all the evidence from your agency, you, and your doctor to decide if your claim is allowable. Your claim can be allowed only if the evidence shows that you meet all of the above-mentioned guidelines.
Itâs important to also keep in mind that OPM wonât pay for any medical exams or procedures needed to provide the required documentation.
The highly experienced federal employment attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. have been helping injured and disabled federal employees prepare the medical evidence and legal arguments necessary during the disability retirement application process with OPM for over 35 years.
We constantly see obstacles in the Federal Disability Retirement process that can be difficult to navigate without professional legal help.
However, we have the experience and track record to successfully guide you through the process.
We can also help you with a reconsideration request to OPM or even appeal a denial to the MSPB. today or fill out the form below to find out how we can help you qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.
Fact One: You Must Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must have at least 18 months of Federal Civilian Service that is credible under the Federal Employee Retirement System . You must submit your application while you are still a federal employee or before one year after the date of your separation. Additionally, your disability must be expected to last at least a year. While making you unable to work for a period of time, temporary hospitalization may not qualify you for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
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Medical Retirement: Calculating Fers Disability Benefits
What feds need to know regarding rules, eligibility, and the application process for the FERS disability retirement.
First off, if you are a federal employee who is able to take an immediate FERS pension, then that is probably the route to take, even if you become disabled. If you think there is a possibility that you might try to return after you leave federal service, then a disability retirement might be an option for you. In this article, well explore how age, length of service, and Social Security impacts a FERS disability retirement calculation.
Who Is Eligible For Federal Disability Retirement
In order to be eligible, you must be enrolled in the Civil Service Retirement System for a minimum of 5 years or the Federal Employees Retirement System for a minimum of 18 months as a full-time career employee.
Your qualification for Federal Disability Retirement is based on medical evidence from a doctor supporting your claim that you are unable to do even one of your job duties due to a disability, for a period of at least 12 months. This means that even if you are on a light-duty work assignment, that you will still be eligible for disability retirement. In some cases, this change in work can benefit you when building a case.
Keep in mind that this doesnt have to be a work-related injury. For example, you could have hurt your back while lifting weights at the gym which led to an injury that stops you from lifting over 20 pounds at your job. If this injury is expected to last at least 12 months and lifting over 20 pounds is one of your job requirements, then this is an injury that could qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.
Additionally, your condition could have existed before you began working in your position but worsened during your employment with the federal government.
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Three: Complete Standard Form 3112 Documentation In Support Of Disability Retirement Application
Disabled federal employees need to provide documents that support their FERS disability retirement application.
Standard Form 3112 includes five main forms, some of which are completed by the applicant and others to be completed by their physicians or agency.
In general, employees use these forms to document their medical condition to show that they are disabled and unable to perform their job duties.
The disabled employee must complete Standard Form 3112A, Applicants Statement of Disability. On that form, the applicant describes his or her disease or injury and how it affects current job duties.
The applicant then lists the physicians and dates of treatment that can support his or her claim of disability.
Next, the federal employee must ask each doctor to complete Standard Form 3112C, Physicians Statement. The employee should also provide each doctor with a current job description.
With that job description, each doctor can state how the employees disease or injury affects the employees ability to work.
In addition to completing the form, each doctor must enclose medical documentation of the patients medical condition on letterhead stationery.
Doctors must provide copies of all medical reports detailing the patients symptoms and history, diagnostic tests, diagnosis, treatments, and therapies.
Next, the employing federal agency must complete forms that describe whether the employees disability may be accommodated.
What To Do If You Are Denied Federal Disability Retirement
If OPM denies your application, you can file a reconsideration appeal within 30 days. You have the best chance of winning your appeal if you submit additional medical evidence or other supporting information not included with your first application.
If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you still have options:
- You can appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board .
- If the MSPB also denies your application, you can appeal to the MSPB board.
- Once you have exhausted these administrative solutions, you can take your case to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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How To Apply For Federal Disability
Are you considering applying for federal disability retirement? First, provide your employing agency with thorough documentation of your medical condition. If your agency exhausts all attempts to retain you in a productive capacity, then its time to apply for federal disability. Heres how:
- Complete and submit form SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement.
- Complete and submit form SF 3112, Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement Application.
- If you are under 62 years old, supply documentation showing that you have applied for Social Security disability benefits.
- Submit other supporting documents, depending on your responses on forms SF 3107 and SF 3112.
If you have been separated from federal service for 31 days or less, your employing agency will help you complete these forms and forward them to the Office of Personnel Management . Even so, it is your responsibility to obtain all the necessary information to support your claim.
If you have been separated from federal service for more than 31 days, submit your application directly to OPM rather than through your agency. Ask your former supervisor to complete forms SF 3112B, SF 3112D, and SF 3112E and give you the completed forms so you can submit them to OPM. If the one-year mark of your separation is coming up, send OPM your completed forms as well as the name, address, and phone number of the person you have asked to complete the remaining forms.
Theres No Better Time To Get Started
At Uliase & Uliase we handle federal compensation claims at every stage of the process. We guide recently injured workers throughout the entire process to be certain that no missteps happen which can cause delays, or even worse, denials.
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- Phone: 310-9002
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Who Is Eligible For Federal Disability Retirement Benefits
The OPM sets clear guidelines on who can qualify for FERS disability retirement benefits. In order to qualify, you have to meet all of the following conditions:
- You must have completed at least 18 months of federal civilian service creditable under the Federal Employees Retirement System.
- You must have become disabled while working in a position subject to the federal retirement system to the point that you can no longer carry out your duties.
- Your disability must be expected to last at least one year.
- The agency you work for must certify that its unable to accommodate your disability at your current position and that its considered you for any similar vacation positions at the same grade or pay level that youre qualified for, within the same geographic area.
- You, your guardian or another interested person must apply for FERS disability retirement benefits before you separate from service or within one year following separation from service. The only exception is if you were mentally incompetent on the date of separation or within a one-year window of this date.
- You must apply for Social Security disability benefits.
You dont have to be approved for Social Security disability benefits to get approved for FERS disability retirement benefits. But if you withdraw your Social Security disability benefit application, your FERS disability retirement application is automatically dismissed by the OPM.